I recently watched a video by Ken Robinson called “School Kills Creativity”. He starts off my talking about how all kids have tremendous talent and that we squander that talent. He believes that creativity is an important as literacy and that schools do not focus as much on creativity. Most kids are willing to take a chance at doing things, such as drawing or dancing, but some are frightened to take that chance because they might be wrong. He says “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” Ken also talks about how education systems are running where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The result is that we are educating people out of their capacities.

Ken talked about a few examples. He mentioned Shakespeare and brought up the notion of what might have happened if Shakespeare was told to put his pencil down and stop writing or if his teacher would have told him to “try harder”. He also mentioned a girl who couldn’t sit still when she was younger and her parents thought something was wrong with her. When they took her to the doctor, the doctor left her in a room by herself and turned on the radio. He asked the mother to watch. The little girl got up and started to dance. He told the mother that the daughter is not sick, she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance studio. So the mother did and she ended up being the choregrapher for some of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals, such as Cats and Phantom of the Opera.

I think that some schools do try and hinder a child from being creative. They make sure the students are learning the subjects that they think are most important, such as math and language, but do not realize the importance of the Arts. Why do we not spend as much time with the Arts curriculum as we do with the Math curriculum or the Language curriculum? Children are not getting as much time with visual art, or drama or music. I think that if children had more opportunities with these subjects, they would be able to show their creative side more often. For some, math and language do not come easy for them. They are more comfortable with the arts but do not get to show their talent as much.

I believe that some students are afraid to make mistakes so they will not even try to be creative. They think that they need to get the right answer so that they will make the teacher happy, especially in the younger grades. As students get older, they get even more frightened about being wrong. They do not want to lose their job because they made a big mistake.

A lot of students now a days have a hard time sitting still in their desks. I do not think that this means something is wrong with them. Some just cannot concentrate if they have to sit absolutely still. I think that we as educators should take notice of those students who have a hard time sitting still and try to figure out why they can’t. That will help us to understand our students better and not always have to tell them to sit still and listen.

Overall, I think that as Ken said, we should nurture children’s creativity, not squander it. If we do squander it, then they may never try to be creative again. Children need to know that being creative is a good thing and that it is important.